Middle-aged men need our help

The pastor at my church this past Sunday mentioned a very startling statistic in his sermon. White middle-class men are dying by suicide at an increasing rate. The article in the NY Times also sited that “the mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased 134 deaths per 100.000 from 1999 to 2014. Dr. Deaton (who conducted the study) was looking at statistics on suicide and happiness, skeptical about whether states with a high happiness level have a low suicide rate (They do not, he discovered; in fact, the opposite is true).

Suicide Warning Signs

From AFSP People who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk.           Talk If a person talks about: ● Killing themselves. ● Having no reason to live. ● Being a burden to others. ● Feeling trapped. ● Unbearable pain.   Behavior A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change. ● Increased use of alcohol or drugs. ● Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means. ● Acting recklessly. ● Withdrawing from activities. ● Isolating from family and friends. ● Sleeping too much or too little. ● Visiting or calling people to say goodbye. ● Giving away prized possessions. ● Aggression.   Mood People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods. ● Depression. ● Loss of interest. ● Rage. ● Irritability. ● Humiliation. ●...

Helping After A Loss

● Find a therapist ● Join a support group ● Join a walk ● Start a journal ● Honor a loved one: ● Plant a tree ● Purchase a bench or plaque to memorialize loved one at favorite place ● Start a special memorial garden ● Cook special meal on holidays ● Make a special quilt ● Start a memorial...

Trying to Matter on Capitol Hill

Well, this past week, I got to test out “Trying to Matter.” I recently became a field advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and got to attend their Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC.